Set up your Yearbook Workflow! Day 3

Aside from just going to the Organization tab on a student’s session record and selecting their yearbook image at that location, students can also select their own yearbook image online from

As a quick recap, is an eCommerce site allowing your clients to view and purchase their images online. InspiredByYou is available as an optional add-on for Spectra users and is included in the subscription cost for myStratus users.

If you’ve not set up and would like to do so, click here to get started.

After you have set up, note these three settings that are very important to allow your clients to select their Yearbook Image online:

• Enable Online Yearbook Selection in the Preferences (Maintenance > Preferences > Preferences). This setting enables the online yearbook selection feature.

• Set the Student Selection Cut Off Date on the Yearbook Options tab in the Organization settings (Maintenance > Client > Organizations > Yearbook Options tab). This setting controls how long students can choose yearbook images online.

• Also set the student’s Session Type as an Organization / School session style in the Session Type Maintenance Detail screen (Maintenance > Session > Session Types > ‘Open the Session Type’ > General tab). This setting controls which sessions will have access to the online yearbook selection feature.

After the session is uploaded to InspiredByYou, if it’s been set up correctly, the student will have an extra icon in their lower menu that allows them to select their yearbook image.

After the student has selected their image online, you can download their selection by going to Tools > Synchronize > ‘check’ Download Yearbook Image Selections > Start Sync. This will download all yearbook selections made by your clients on InspiredByYou. Their selection will appear in the Yearbook Image section on the Organization tab of their session record. For myStratus users, this sync process automatically runs approximately every half hour.

*If you chose to create a Task any time a yearbook image is chosen, then the task will get created and assigned at this stage as well.

Now that you’ve selected the yearbook images for your clients, you can prepare the images! Check back later for more info!

Extra Resources

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Set up your Yearbook Workflow! Day 2

Today is short and sweet, but still very important. To prepare your yearbook images properly, you must set a Composite Template for the images to use to ensure the correct formatting is followed for each individual school.

Here’s the instructions to create a Composite Template for your yearbook images:

  1. Go to Tools > Design Tools > Digital Template Builder > New Template.
  2. Set the general settings based on the requirements from your organizations.
  3. Click New Drop Zone and give it the same dimensions as the template.
  4. Save Template

You can select which template to use in one of two places:

  1. Maintenance > Preferences > Company Preferences > Organizations tab. Select the composite template you want to use – this will be the default template used by all organizations.
  2. Maintenance > Client > Organizations > ‘Open the Organization’ > Yearbook Options tab. By selecting a template here, it will override the template chosen in the Company Preferences for students in this organization only.

Now that your Composite Template(s) are set up, you can work with your clients on selecting their yearbook images. Check back later for more info.

Extra Resources

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Set up your Yearbook Workflow! Day 1

The Yearbook Season’s just getting started for many studios; now is the perfect time to evaluate your own yearbook workflow practices. Yearbooks provide such a vital service to schools – not to mention the thousands of students involved in the yearbook process each year.

Many of our clients come to us in the heat of the yearbook season asking for guidance on the best way to handle their images. If you wait until you’re scrambling to catch up – with all the workflow set-up and finished sessions – you’ve already lost valuable time you can’t get back. Wouldn’t you prefer to have yearbook workflow simplified AND automated to boost your productivity and reduce expenses?

We’ve decided this week would be perfect to introduce a short learning series in our Learning Blog to go over our recommendation for best yearbook practices.

Here are the topics we’ll cover:

Day 1 – Setting up Organizations

Day 2 – Composite Templates

Day 3 – InspiredByYou and Selecting Images

Day 4 – Preparing Images

Day 5 – Reporting

Want more training series like this? That’s great! We’d also love to hear your feedback on this series. Click here to comment and let us know other series you’d like to see, and don’t forget to vote if you want to hear more from the Learning Blog!

Day 1 – Organizations

Once the initial set up of yearbook workflow is done, managing your client’s yearbook selections is simple! Today we’re focusing on setting up the schools, AKA Organizations.

Start by going to Maintenance > Client > Organizations. Select the + in the ribbon to get started on your School. Use the General tab to fill out all information you have regarding this organization, including the school’s Name, Code, Address, Phone Number, Yearbook Advisor, Principal, etc.

The next tab in the Organization Maintenance Detail screen is Yearbook Options. This screen is critical for your yearbook workflow. Each school has their own specifications for yearbook images. Every field on this tab must be filled out correctly for the yearbook workflow to function properly. We’ll cover the Yearbook Image Masking section in tomorrow’s topic.

The Custom tab is an option in case your business chooses to track additional information from schools that may not already be a field for the organization. You can set up your own custom fields by going to Maintenance > General > Custom Lists and Labels > Organization tab. Click here for more information on Custom Lists and Labels.


After each organization has been entered, one more menu needs to be set up. Go to Maintenance > Preferences > Company Preferences > Organizations tab.

The Yearbook Images section is the site where you plan to store the yearbook images on your computer. Please note that ALL workstations will draw from this location, so we recommend you use a location all computers can access.

The Composite Template section will be covered in tomorrow’s topic.

The Yearbook Tasks, Yearbook Status, and Organization Print Options sections are not required for the yearbook workflow but provide wonderful options for tracking purposes.


Now that your Organizations have been set up, you can create the Composite Template(s) you will use for the yearbook images! Check back tomorrow for more info!

Extra Resources:

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Boost your Delivered Emails and Click-Through Rates with StudioPlus Mail

Email providers are constantly on the look out for Spam or unlawful emails. What are you doing to ensure your own emails stay out of this scope? All email sending is built on trust – Email Providers and your clients are trusting they won’t be spammed by marketing emails. If that trust is broken, it’s very difficult to re-build your “sending reputation.” There can be ramifications to a damaged sending reputation as well, such as heavy fines and lost business.

We’re proud to offer our StudioPlus Mail add-on service, powered by SendGrid, which provides you the tools to keep your own email practices “top of the line.” Let’s take a look at some of these features.

Who is SendGrid and why are they special?

SendGrid is the power behind the StudioPlus Mail service. As the world’s largest provider of email infrastructure, they know a thing or two about email reputations and security. You may have even seen some of their work through industry leaders like Pinterest, Foursquare, Spotify, and Uber.

While you’re trying to build your own emailing reputation, SendGrid works tirelessly to keep their functionality as secure as possible. SendGrid is both Spam Law compliant and GDPR Compliant (EU). So if you’ve got SendGrid on your side, rest-assured your emails are in capable hands.

Not using StudioPlus Mail yet? Click here to learn more and view pricing.

Domain Authentication

When you sign up to use StudioPlus Mail as your email provider, you keep sending from your current “Domain” (e.g. Our Domain is “”), so you can keep sending emails to clients without missing a beat. But how do other email providers know it’s still your business sending those emails? Truthfully, they don’t. This can often lead email providers to view your emails as possible Spam.

SendGrid offers a great feature called “Domain Authentication” which allows you to prove to email providers that you are who you say you are.

From a visual perspective, clients will receive your emails as “ *Via*” when you use the StudioPlus Mail service. However, after authenticating your Domain through SendGrid, the *Via* will be removed and emails will be 100% from your business. It’s visually pleasing to clients and provides additional security to other email providers.

The actual process for Domain Authentication is quick, easy, and offers a huge impact to your email deliverability. Read more about the process here.

Delivery Statuses

After you send an email out from our software, it doesn’t disappear into space, only to re-surface in your client’s inbox. An email must navigate many roadblocks just to get to your client’s inbox, including going through Spam Filters.

SendGrid offers you the ability to see the stages of these roadblocks. These Delivery Statuses will show you whether your email was “Delivered” or “Blocked”, “Opened” or “Bounced”, and even let you know if a client clicks through a link on the email. Delivery Statuses provide a deeper look at how your emails are received by clients. If an email gets bounced from a bad email address, you’ll know to follow up with that client for a new email address.

For all users on StudioPlus Mail, you can see these Delivery Statuses through SendGrid’s online portal. If you utilize myStratus, this functionality is also built right into the software, to let you view these statuses in real time.

Click here to learn more about using Delivery Statuses with StudioPlus Mail.

Unsubscribe Links

Privacy laws seem to get stricter every day. An important part of these laws is giving your clients the ability to Unsubscribe, or “Opt. Out”, from your email marketing. SendGrid provides the power to automatically include an “Unsubscribe” link with your marketing emails. Including this link isn’t only important to your clients but also to email providers. You’re less likely to be regarded as Spam if your clients can simply unsubscribe from your marketing, and your sending reputation with email providers will remain high if you’re actively following the Privacy Laws of your area.

Like other aspects of the StudioPlus Mail service, this feature is directly integrated with our software and will automate itself after the initial set up.

Click here to learn more about setting up Unsubscribe links.


Overall, your clients want to feel like they can trust you when they decide to follow your business, and we know that’s your goal as well. Utilizing the StudioPlus Mail add-on gives you the confidence that your emails are helping to build that foundation.

The features mentioned in this blog post are just scratching the surface of all the StudioPlus Mail service has to offer. If you’re not already using the StudioPlus Mail add-on, click here to learn more and view pricing.

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Summer is here! Time to raise those bookings!

Now that we’re in the heat of summer in the U.S., you’re probably getting ready for the rise in your booking numbers. Why not bring those numbers to the next level? Now’s the perfect time to set up myStratus for Online Booking.

With myStratus’ online booking feature, you can integrate a booking portal directly into your website for both new and existing clients to book their session or appointment. Once they’ve completed booking their session or appointment, a new record will automatically be created in myStratus on the date they booked.

Why stop there? If you use one of our credit card processing integrations with Cayan, eWAY, or Global Payments, clients can even pay their session fee or customer deposit through the online booking portal when they book.

If you use the Professional Version of myStratus, keep the time-saving automation going by using Triggers and Web Forms to follow up with your clients who booked online.

To help you get started, we’ve updated our written documentation of the online booking learning materials and included a lot more information – such as how to use the more advanced features of online booking, along with answering some FAQs.

Access the online booking documentation here.

Check out our Credit Card Processing Partners here.

Not on myStratus?

Talk with one of our Sales reps to see your options for making the switch! Click here to book a free consultation to discuss whether myStratus is a good fit for your business!

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2018 Service Release 4 Training Materials!

Earlier this week, we announced Service Release 4 on our Support Blog. Today, we get to share with you some of the new training materials we recently made available.

First, make sure you check out the Release Notes to see what’s new in Service Release 4.

View the latest Training Videos:

Also check out our written documentation to see all the new features!

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The GDPR is Coming – Are You Ready?

The GDPR will go into effect May 25th, 2018 in the European Union. You may have already read our blog post on the steps we’ve taken to make myStratus 2018 GDPR compliant (If not, you can read the post here). But what have you done to make your own business compliant?

This legal transition is complicated and should not be taken lightly. To make your task easier as you strive to make your business GDPR compliant, we’ve created this help article containing our recommendations on how to best utilize myStratus 2018 to help you remain in compliance with these new regulations.

Click here to read the full article.

As always, feel free to contact our support team at if you need help setting up any of these recommendations.


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2018 Training Videos and Documentation

Our 2018 release is here, and so are the new training materials! Aside from our written documentation, which has been updated with the latest enhancements, we’ve also created six new training videos to highlight and explain some of the new features:

Client Referral Programs – Introduction

Client Referral Programs – Set-up

Client Referral Programs – Usage

Cayan Genius Handheld Terminal

Cayan Genius Mini Terminal

StudioPlus Mail – Delivery Statuses

We’re so excited for this new release and want to help you utilize these new features to better your own business! If you have any questions on the new 2018 features, feel free to contact our support team at

Happy learning!

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Authorized Consultant’s 2-Day Sale!

One of our Authorized Independent Consultants, Steph Lesser, is offering a flash, 2-day sale!

Get six 1-hour Sessions for just $199.

What a great way to start off the new year and meet any New Year’s resolutions!

Click here for more information and to sign up!

Contact Steph for any questions at or give her a call at +1 (561) 809-1031

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Set up your 2018 Holidays

2018 is here, and now is the perfect time to get your studio ready to tackle the new year! A great way to get started is by importing 2018 holidays into your Spectra/myStratus database. You don’t have to stop at holidays either. You can also import any special event that will affect your studio. This includes staff birthdays, days the studio will be closed, company retreats, or anything else that you want visible on your calendar!

Start by creating an Excel spreadsheet of all the holidays/events you want on your calendar. Click here to download a pre-made spreadsheet from our website with a list of 2018 holidays for your country. If you don’t see your country listed, create your own holiday spreadsheet or download another country’s list to use as a template. With the downloaded spreadsheet, you can add, modify, or delete any holidays/events your studio does or doesn’t observe.

Once your spreadsheet is ready to be imported, go to Maintenance > General > Special Calendar Events and Holidays > Import from Excel. Then select the spreadsheet you downloaded and import it. Once the import process finishes, the holidays from your spreadsheet will now be visible on everyone’s calendar within Spectra/myStratus.

Click here for detailed instructions on this process.

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